Letter: Enforce laws we already have to provide enough gun control

Jan. 21, 2013 @ 01:57 AM

 

Editor:

I am an NRA life member and an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor.

I am viewing the gun violence discussions with great interest. I think that augmenting the laws which control access to guns in this country might be very helpful.

1. Make it illegal for anyone to purchase a gun on behalf of another person ... wait. That’s already against the law. No exceptions. It is illegal.

2. Pass a law making it a crime for any convicted felon to purchase a gun, and beyond that, make it illegal for anyone under indictment for a felony to purchase a gun, or even to possess a gun. What? That’s already the law? Yes it is.

3. How about any fugitive from justice, federal, state or local? Yep. Against the law.

4. I think it is stupid to allow a person addicted to or unlawfully in use of controlled drugs to buy a gun. Don’t you? Already the law.

5. History of mental illness? You bet. Illegal already.

6. If one has a history of domestic violence, surely he can’t buy a gun! You’re right. He/she can’t legally buy a gun.

7. More? Folks who have renounced their U.S. citizenship, “undocumented aliens,” out-of-state folks, minors, can’t buy a gun legally.

8. Make it illegal to arm yourself with a handgun unless you have a permit. That’s the law now.

Even folks with a carry permit can’t be in possession of a firearm if they are intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs or on posted property.

If I am not a permit holder, may I keep a handgun or other firearm in my home for protection? You bet. But, remember that you must keep weapons secure.

Most all of the questions I have enumerated here are included on US Department of Justice Bureau of ATF questionnaire everyone must complete before they are OK’d to purchase a gun. It must be completed for every gun purchased. If one answers yes to any of the above conditions, they are disqualified, by law, from purchasing a gun.

In two places on the form the applicant acknowledges that he/she knows that it is a felony to intentionally make a false answer to any of the questions. After the form 4473 is completed, the dealer submits the prospective purchaser’s ID information to the FBI and others for background check. The response disqualifies the applicant or does not disqualify.

Now, it seems to me that if a background check comes back disqualified, further legal action is indicated, because that would seem to indicate that there is a false answer somewhere. To my knowledge and in my experience, failed background checks are not routinely referred to law enforcement for further consideration.

Don’t you think that strict enforcement of the laws regarding the application for firearms purchase would be a helpful thing? I certainly do, and likewise for all the “gun control” laws already on the books. Unenforced laws are not laws. They are suggestions.

To make gun possession or procurement illegal affects only law abiding folks. Criminals are criminals only because they don’t obey laws, no matter how well intentioned and logical those laws seem. That’s even more true if the laws turn out to be only suggestions. I believe it would be much easier to eliminate all criminals from society than to eliminate all firearms, or high cap magazines for that matter, though neither choice is really attainable.

I guess my point, my belief is: We must protect honest folks and their rights. Rain down on criminals and make strict punishment stick. I can’t imagine how disarming law abiding, qualified, gun owners can make anyone safer, other than the bad guys.

Dr. Frank H. Alden

Kodak